Occupation: CEO, Ford Motor Co.
Previous TIME 100 appearances: 1
When Alan Mulally took over at Ford Motor Co. in September 2006, the company was solvent but reeling. Ford had two things going for it: $22 billion in borrowed money and Mulally. The former Boeing executive used the money to pay for plant closures and fund retiree health care benefits while at the same time reinventing the way Ford designed and manufactured automobiles. Ford emphasized lean, global production, common parts and uncommon quality, as evidenced by the 2012 Focus, which was created in Europe but sells in 120 markets. Ford earned $6.6 billion last year, its best showing in a decade.